Religious fanatics are irritating. They talk about things without any proof but that’s not the only problem. They want to convert you and sometimes, some of them resort to violence. They get away with their claims because it is pretty difficult to prove them wrong in a way: their Gods move from the sky to other universes. Who can visit such obscure places?
For militant atheists, rationality is ‘God.’ They don’t want anybody to talk bullshit. Anything that is not logical is wrong and unacceptable. Say anything and they will bombard you with theories. Notice how aggressive atheists are when they debate with believers. Sure, they don’t kill people but like Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik says, Science (which is the child of rationality) can be and is been already used for destruction. Rationality and blind faith: BOTH can be used for destruction.
Have you noticed the similarities in both the camps? Both are too attached to their version of truths. Both are CERTAIN about something. In my not-so-expert opinion, being an extremist kind of blinds you from the truth.
I have a question for religious people who see ‘visions’ of Jesus or Krishna or Allah: What if you had never heard of these people? Would you have had these visions then? Also, if you have attained happiness because of your religion then WHY do you need to aggressively convert others? Wait..is it because your happiness lies in converting people into your religion and not from following it?
I have a question for rational people: When you buy medicines, how can you be sure that they are not sugar pills? Have you ACTUALLY studied all the components of the medicine to know if it’s right for you? You kind of TRUST the doctor, don’t you? You trust the medical companies too, right? I mean, how can you be sure? You read about medicines in a particular scientific journal but what if all this is a conspiracy? What if all scientists and drug companies have secretly made a plan to produce placebo pills? How can you trust the integrity of a scientist without even meeting that person? You might say that you go by evidence. You see that people around you are getting healed after taking a particular medicine which is a proof but how can you be SURE that the healing was ONLY because of the medicine? What if the scientist’s beliefs about the outcome of the experiment influenced the results? Please let me know if you have an answer to this post (click) that I wrote sometime back. I would be grateful if you could solve this doubt of mine.
No, I’m not dissing science nor do I believe in any of the conspiracy theories above. Medicines have helped me and saved the lives of people I love. I’m writing here because of Science. Electricity helps me. I find many scientists inspirational and honest. But, if you are going to doubt, why doubt selectively? If you are going to be skeptical, why don’t you go all the way? I read this somewhere: You are skeptical about everything except your own skepticism!
You don’t go all the way because extreme rationality or skepticism doesn’t make any sense and most importantly is not practical. I mean, technically speaking, no human being can be trusted. But without reasonable amount of trust, the entire civilization will collapse. Your milkman maybe doing something fishy, the groceries guy might be upto something, the salt packet may be unhygienic. Really, skepticism has no end. There is a reasonable amount of ‘belief’ in Science too. How can you live without trust? And you need to trust despite the shit that is going on in the world.
Even if the scientist doesn’t ‘believe’ in anything, the people whom he/she is experimenting upon might believe in something. Does their beliefs affect the experiment results? I don’t know.
Like most people on this planet, I believed in God because that’s what I was taught. In my teens, I became a militant atheist and my hobby was to make fun of anything spiritual or religious. But I don’t know why I felt uncomfortable with both the camps. I’m an agnostic now because I just cannot reject or accept one view completely. I’m not a militant atheist or a religious person because you become a closed minded individual. I have a friend who explodes when he hears the word ‘spirituality.’ I don’t know why but my intuition always told me that the mystics know something even though it is tough to understand what they say. There is something valuable in spirituality and some aspects of religion. In the same way, religious fanatics need to see the beauty and importance of logic/rationality too.
When you say, “you don’t know,” you are not attached to your opinion. You don’t have to fight for agnosticism because when you don’t know, you cannot reject anyone’s version of truth and if you do then maybe, you secretly believe that you know something.
Both religious people and atheists could be right at the same, both could be wrong at the same time, maybe one the them is right. How will we know? Like Socrates said, “All I know is that I know nothing” and this statement could be true or false.